Review – Swamp Thing #1
Scott Snyder is a rising award winning talent in the comic book world. He’s shown off his abilities with the critically praised American Vampire and his recent Image comics series Severed. Snyder also was given the reigns over Batman, penning one of his books. His ability to write both super hero and horror makes him a perfect fit to pick up the newly relaunched Swamp Thing whose first issue debuts today as part of DC’s relaunch/reboot/revamp.
Snyder faces a challenge though in this new series. The specter of Alan Moore, who penned a highly praised run of the character, looms over anything Snyder does. And unfairly that’s what it’ll be compared to through no fault of his own. But, as a reviewer I get the perspective of having never read Moore’s run. I come into this new series wide eyed and fresh without any bias. My only interaction with Swamp Thing was in Brightest Day which Snyder can only improve upon.
To me the series has to do a few things. It needs to establish Alec Holland, which it does. It needs to give us an idea as to who/what Swamp Thing is. It sort of does that. It needs to set up a big mystery that has us come back. I think it does. It needs to establish Swamp Thing as part of DCnU and not Vertigo. With appearances by Batman, Aquaman and an extended appearance by Superman it does that. It should have a gothic horror feel to it. It pretty much gets there. It’s horror, not sure if I’d say gothic.
The first issue hits the right notes. Alec Holland has returned and is torn between his newly resurrected life and the memories he still has as his time as Swamp Thing. He’s the reluctant good guy who is unsure if he wants to return to that life. Moore’s run, from what I’ve been told had many religious overtones and Snyder continues that. With a resurrection involved, it’s kind of hard not to. But, that’s subtle as if to give a nod as to what’s come before. But Snyder paves his own path with two mysteries that might me connected, the first based in the reality and the second that made me pause and say “what the fuck.”
I’ve noticed with Snyder’s comics he has a slow build in the beginning (ie first few issues) and this is no exception. There’s a style and pattern to his story writing and that’s not a bad thing. He has a voice, and a style and he’s proven that he can churn out fantastic comics. Swamp Thing #1 isn’t the kick-ass, spandex clad, huge action scenes you might expect with other comics, instead we’re treated to slow adult build. It’s refreshing and much welcome and I for one am looking forward to the next issue.
Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Story: Scott Snyder Art: Yanick Paquette
Publisher: DC Comics Cost: $2.99 Release Date: September 7
Graphic Policy was provided with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.